Associate Professor

Digital systems and life sciences group, Yncrea HdF, Lille, France
BioMEMS group, IEMN, Lille, France

Contact: cagatay.tarhan(a)


  • 2019 Habilitation, Doctoral School of SPI, University of Lille, Lille, France
  • 2010 PhD, Electrical Engineering Dept., The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2007 MSc, Electrical Engineering Dept., The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2003 BSc, Electrical & Electronics Eng. Dept., Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey


  • 2020-present Steering committee member of the Labcom BioPharMEMS
  • 2018-present Director of SMMiL-E project, LIMMS/CNRS-IIS, The University of Tokyo
  • 2016-present Associate professor, Digital Systems and Life Sciences, Yncrea HdF
  • 2014-2016 Researcher, LIMMS-CNRS/IIS, The University of Tokyo
  • 2010-2014 Project researcher, Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo


  • PI of various research projects (supported by JSPS, I-Site ULNE, Fondation ARC)
  • Technical program committee member (IEEE Int. Conf. on MEMS)
  • Scientific journal reviewing activities (ACS Nano, Small, Lab Chip, PCCP, RSC Advances, etc.)
  • Young talent researcher, Région Hauts-de-France
  • Engineering Department Dean’s Award, The University of Tokyo
  • Electrical Eng. Dep. Excellence in Master’s Thesis Award, The Univ. of Tokyo
  • Monbukagakusho Japanese Government Scholarship


  • Distinguishing cancer cells based on their biophysical signatures
    (supported by Région HdF (comp.) and I-SITE ULNE)
    Changes in cell shape and structural integrity affect many biological processes related to cells. Therefore, we can potentially use the biophysical properties of cells to reflect the state of their health. This connection between the biophysics and diseases has been attracting scientific research attention, especially for cancer research, where diseased cells proliferate uncontrollably and disrupt the organization of tissue. Here, we target a reliable and practical high-throughput technique to obtain the biophysical signature of cancer cells. We take two parallel approaches to achieve this goal. We use MEMS grippers (i.e., Silicon NanoTweezers) that provide higher sensitivity to examine different biophysical properties (e.g., size, stiffness, viscosity, and electrical properties). In parallel, we are developing a high-throughput MEMS device optimized according to the SNT results for clinical applications.
  • Monitoring immunological synapses at single cell level in a microfluidic device
    (supported by Fondation ARC)
    We develop a microfluidic device for trapping cell-pairs to monitor cellular communication. The proposed method allows cell positioning at designated areas to make selective contact between two different populations despite dimensional variations. An array of trapping sites with specific geometries provided higher efficiency, and integrating the setup with an incubation unit allows long-term (>4 hours) experiments under a controlled environment. The device is used to monitor the cellular activity of patient immune and leukemic cells via Ca2+ signalling by fluorescence microscopy.
  • Real-time measurement of the physical properties of DNA-ligand complexes 
    We are using a MEMS gripper device, Silicon Nanotweezers (SNT), to monitor the stiffness of λ-phage DNA through increasing concentrations of ligands (such as Doxorubicin (a DNA binding drug widely used in chemotherapy), SybrGreen and Hoechst) in real-time. The study of the mechanical properties of DNA-ligand complexes can provide valuable insight on the biological implications of such complexes in-vivo.


  • Y. Tauran, M. Kumemura, M. C. Tarhan, G. Perret, F. Perret, L. Jalabert, D. Collard, H. Fujita and A.W. Coleman, “Direct measurement of the mechanical properties of a chromatin analog and the epigenetic effects of para-sulphonato-calix[4]arene“, Scientific Reports, 9, 5816, 2019.
  • Y. Takayama, G. Perret, M. Kumemura, M. Ataka, S. Meignan, S. L. Karsten, H. Fujita, D. Collard, C. Lagadec, M. C. Tarhan, Developing a MEMS Device with Built-in Microfluidics for Biophysical Single Cell Characterization. Micromachines, 9, 275, 2018.
  • Y. Tauran,* M. C. Tarhan,* L. Mollet,* J.B. Gerves, M. Kumemura, L. Jalabert, N. Lafitte, I. Byun, B.J. Kim, H. Fujita, D. Collard, F. Perret, K. Suwinska, C. Goutaudier and A.W. Coleman, “Elucidating the mechanism of the considerable mechanical stiffening of DNA induced by the couple Zn2+/Calix[4]arene-1,3-Odiphosphorous acid“, Scientific Reports, 8, 1226, 2018,(*: equal contribution).
  • M. C. Tarhan, R. Yokokawa, L. Jalabert, D. Collard and H. Fujita, “Pick-and-place assembly of single microtubules by MEMS tweezers”, Small, 13, 1701136, 2017, selected as the inner cover of the issue.
  • G. Perret, T. Lacornerie,F. Manca, S. Giordano, M. Kumemura, N. Lafitte, L. Jalabert, M. C. Tarhan, E. Lartigau, F. Cleri, H. Fujita and D. Collard, “Real-time mechanical characterization of DNA in liquid under ionizing radiation beams by Silicon Nano Tweezers and its theoretical analysis”, Microsystems & Nanoengineering, 2, 16062, 2016.
  • M. C. Tarhan, N. Lafitte, Y. Tauran, L. Jalabert, M. Kumemura, G. Perret, B.J. Kim, A. W. Coleman, H. Fujita and D. Collard, “A rapid and practical technique for real-time monitoring of biomolecular interactions using mechanical responses of macromolecules”, Scientific Reports, 6, 28001, 2016. 
  • S. P. Subramaniyan, M. C. Tarhan, S. L. Karsten, H. Fujita, H. Shintaku, H. Kotera and R. Yokokawa,“On-chip microtubule gliding assay for parallel measurement of Tau protein species”, Lab Chip,16 (9), 1691-1697, 2016.
  • S. Uno, M. Kamiya, T. Yoshihara, K. Sugawara, K. Okabe, M. C. Tarhan, H. Fujita, T. Funatsu, Y. Okada, S. Tobita and Y. Urano, “A Spontaneously Blinking Fluorophore for Live-cell Super-resolution Imaging Based on Intramolecular Spirocyclization”, Nature Chemistry, 6, 681–689, 2014.
  • M. C. Tarhan, Y. Orazov, R. Yokokawa, S. L. Karsten and H. Fujita, “Biosensing MAPs as “Roadblocks”: Kinesin-based Functional Analysis of Tau Protein Isoforms and Mutants Using Suspended Microtubules (sMTs)”, Lab Chip, 13 (16), 3217-3224,2013.
  • M. C. Tarhan, Y. Orazov, R. Yokokawa, S. L. Karsten and H. Fujita, “Suspended Microtubules Demonstrate High Sensitivity and Low Experimental Variability in Kinesin Bead Assay”, Analyst, 138 (6), 1653-1656, 2013.